61 color plates, 49 color figures
During much of the nineteenth century, paintings functioned as the Plains Indians’ equivalent to written records. The majority of their paintings documented warfare, focusing on specific war deeds. These pictorial narratives—appearing on hide robes, war shirts, tipi liners, and tipi covers—were maintained by the several dozen Plains Indians tribes, and they continue to expand historical knowledge of a people and place in transition.
War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation is a study of several important war paintings and artifact collections of the Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee) that provides insight into the changing relations between the Tsuu T’ina, other plains tribes, and non-Native communities during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Arni Brownstone has meticulously created renderings of the paintings that invite readers to explore them more fully. All known Tsuu T’ina paintings are considered in the study, as are several important collections of Tsuu T’ina artifacts, with particular emphasis on five key works. Brownstone’s analysis furthers our understanding of Tsuu T’ina pictographic war paintings in relation to the social, historical, and artistic forces that influenced them and provides a broader understanding of pictographic painting, one of the richest and most important Native American artistic and literary genres.